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Double murders a defining trend in a year of violence

FIFTY people died violently in Ireland in 2010, with January being the deadliest month of the year.

Three men were shot dead in the first 10 days of last year, among nine people who died violently during the month of January 2010.

Although the figures for last year are down on the 59 killed in 2009, a disturbing trend of double murders is emerging.

There were three double murders -- and three of the murdered men were not believed by gardai to have been the intended targets.

A breakdown of the figures also show:

  • 21 gun killings.
  • 16 stabbings.
  • The killing of eight foreign nationals.

The first double killing was on January 10, when Brendan Molyneaux (46) and Paddy Mooney (59) were shot dead in a flat complex on Dublin's Pearse Street.

Mr Mooney was a completely innocent victim and was said to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time".

Convicted criminals and brothers, Paul (35) and Ken (32) Corbally from Ballyfermot, Dublin, were murdered on Neilstown Road on June 28.

And on November 23, first cousins Glen Murphy (19) and Mark Noonan (23) were shot dead at the Clearwater Shopping Centre in Finglas. Gardai believe that the pair were innocent victims.

No double shootings were recorded in 2009.

However, the brutal murders of four children in two separate incidents on the same day were considered the most heinous crimes of 2010.

On November 15, Alicia Brough (20), Sarah Hines (25), Amy Harper (five months) and Reece Harper (3) were stabbed to death in Newcastle West, Limerick. Ms Hines' former partner has been charged with their murders.

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On the same day in Ballycotton, Co Cork, Zoe Butler (7) and Ella Butler (2) were killed by their father, who then took his own life.

Alicia's parents, Maria and Paul, said that Christmas was a particularly difficult time for the family.

"Alicia was talking about Christmas in October, and what she was going to buy for her brothers and sister, that's how much she loved it," said her mother, Maria.

She said that Alicia loved music and that it "broke their hearts" to hear 'Fairytale of New York' on the radio the other day.

Last year also saw the shocking killing of a 12-year-old schoolgirl.

Michaela Davis was reported missing on Friday, August 27.

Her strangled body was found on the banks of the Royal Canal near her home in Porterstown, Dublin. A 19-year-old man has been charged.

A total of 50 people died violently in 2008, and 75 in 2007.

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